- Planting Bare-Root Tree Seedlings
- Plant at the Right Time
- Plant at the Correct Depth
- Plant With a Bar
- Water Enough but Not Too Much
- Protect Your Tree From Animals
- Watch for Pests, Diseases, and Poor Nutrition
- Why Do Some People Say Roots Should Not Be Teased Before Planting?
- Will Loosening Roots Stress a Plant’s Equilibrium?
- Will Loosening Roots Dry the Plant Out?
- Should I Loosen the Roots on a Seedling?
- How to Recognize Negative Root Structures
- Plant Roots that Circle the Inside of a Pot
- Roots Growing Back Toward Potted Plants
- Large Wooden Roots in Potted Plants
- How Should Gardeners Best Loosen Roots Before Planting?
- How to Fix Circling Plant Roots
- Soak the Roots in Water Before Teasing Them
- Untangle and Massage Out the Root Ball
- Planting Tall Tree Seedlings To Create An Instant Forest
- Hire Us As A Reforestation Consultant
- Hire Us To Build A Tall Tree Nursery
- Hire Us To Plant The Trees
- Global Reforestation – A Growing Opportunity
- Forests, Climate Change, And Investment In Tree Assets
- Forests And Climate Change
- More Benefits Investing In Tree Assets
- A Global Opportunity
- Contact Us To Invest In Tree Assets
- Tree Seedlings, Reforestation And Growing Trees For Profit
- Growing Tree Seedlings For Profit
- Government Programs And Commercial Clients
- How You Can Contribute to Reforestation
- Enhancing Reforestation through Tree Seedling Root Development
- Reforestation, Restoring The World’s Forests With Tall Tree Seedlings
- Reforestation Video
- Reforestation Strategies
- Afforestation Is Not Reforestation
- Addressing the Root of the Issue
- Plug Seedlings
- Container Seedlings
- Increasing Reforestation Transplant Survivability Rate by Over 90% with Well-Developed, Tall Tree Seedlings
- Tree Seedlings, Plugs vs Saplings, Planting Trees Video
- Return On Investment, ROI
- Earn More Profit Growing Tree Saplings
- Growing Tall Tree Seedlings
- Increasing Survivability After Transplant
- Minimizing Damage From Foraging Animals
- Quickly Rebuild Ecosystems
- Prevent Land Erosion
- Grow High Value Commercial Sawlogs
- Sequester Large Amounts Of CO2 From The Atmosphere
- Tree Plantation Nurseries Grow Tall Tree Seedlings
- Pyramidal Tree Pots
- Tree Pallets
- Tall Tree Seedling Opportunities
- Contact Us For Information
- Conservation Through Reforestation
Planting Bare-Root Tree Seedlings
Daniel Grill / Getty Images
Whether you started the tree from seed yourself, picked one up at an event like Arbor Day, or ordered it from a catalog, it’s important to make sure you give your bare root tree seedling the right start in life. If at all possible, plant the seedling as soon as you get it. Don’t let the tree roots dry out.
Plant at the Right Time
One of the most critical steps in planting your bare-root tree seedling is to make sure you are doing it at the right time of year. The best time to plant is while the seedling is dormant.
The best day for planting is one that is cool and cloudy.
Chris J. Price / Getty Images
Plant at the Correct Depth
Planting depth can make the difference between a tree that thrives and one that constantly struggles and ultimately fails. At the proper depth, the uppermost roots are at the surface, just covered with soil.
If you plant it too deep, the roots may not get enough oxygen and the tree will be more exposed to potential diseases from the soil.
If you plant it too shallow, the roots may dry out. The tree will also be less stable and have a greater chance of falling over.
Plant With a Bar
The best way to plant seedlings is with a planting bar, also called a dibble bar. Make sure the depth of the hole for the seedling is equal to the length of the seedling’s root system. If the hole is too shallow, the bottom end of the main root may bend to the side, a harmful condition known as J-root. Plant the seedling in the hole, then close the hole using the bar, working from the bottom to the top to prevent air pockets in the hole.
US Forest Service
Water Enough but Not Too Much
You don’t need to water as much as you may believe necessary. When you water too often, the roots grow shallowly and the tree won’t do as well in times of drought. The tree will also not be as sturdy and able to resist strong winds.
It’s best to water deeply every 7 to 10 days and let the ground dry out before the next watering. The roots will grow farther down and will later have an easier time finding water if needed.
amenic181 / Getty Images
Protect Your Tree From Animals
Animals such as deer and rabbits may think your new seedling is a tasty snack. You may want to put a mesh tube around the tree or use repellents. Hardware cloth made of the galvanized metal wire keeps out both large and small animals.
vadimgouida / Getty Images
Watch for Pests, Diseases, and Poor Nutrition
The first few years are especially critical for establishing a healthy tree. Watch for signs of poor health such as:
If you see these or any other indications of poor health, take steps to remedy the problem as soon as possible. You can contact your local extension office if you need help in diagnosing what is wrong.
Transferring a plant from pot to ground can be like sending your firstborn child to the first day of school. You pull the plant from the pot and stare at the root bundle: do you leave it alone, or should you loosen the roots before planting?
Gardeners should loosen roots before planting. Unless the plant is a fragile seedling, loosening up the roots and untangling them before planting helps the plant establish a healthy foundation for future growth.
Today, we will explain why loosening roots before planting is helpful, how to identify roots that need special attention, and how to correct any problems.
By the end of this article, you will feel confident loosening roots before planting.
Why Do Some People Say Roots Should Not Be Teased Before Planting?
It is commonly thought that roots are fragile and weak and that their transition from pot to soil should be trauma-free.
While plants certainly should be treated with respect, it’s important to realize that the most passive approach might not be the best for them.
Indeed, recent studies from Linda Chalker-Scott, Ph.D., Extension Horticulturist and Associate Professor, Puyallup Research and Extension Center, Washington State University, have shown that pruning and loosening roots before planting will help them in the long run.
People assume that roots become stressed when they are disturbed. While this makes sense, it is actually beneficial to manage the roots before planting.
Here are a few reasons why people have said gardeners should avoid loosening roots (and why they aren’t necessarily true):
Will Loosening Roots Stress a Plant’s Equilibrium?
People believed that a plant develops the root system it needs to survive, so that root structure should never be altered. While this line of thought sounds correct, there is a catch.
When moving a plant from a plastic container to the ground, the plant’s environment is being changed and the plant will need to adjust. By pruning, loosening, and teasing the roots, the plant receives a jump start in that adaptation.
Plants tend to form bad habits when they are in pots (we’ll talk more about these later). Like a drill-Sargent kicking the bad habits from recruits during boot camp, you’ve got to correct the roots’ behavior before placing them in the soil.
Will Loosening Roots Dry the Plant Out?
It is important that a plant’s roots never dry out. For this reason, many people have been afraid of correcting the root bundle before planting.
While a plant’s roots certainly can dry out while being loosened, this is not a reason not to correct a poor root bundle.
Should I Loosen the Roots on a Seedling?
What about a seedling? Well, seedlings are a bit different. In general, gardeners should take more care when handling the root structure of a seedling.
It probably won’t kill a seedling to have their roots gently loosened. However, there are a few reasons why seedlings aren’t in the same category as larger plants.
First, seedlings are not typically old enough to have developed negative root structures; therefore, seedlings have much less need of being loosened and pruned.
Second, a seedling’s roots are much smaller and more fragile than the roots of an established plant. Due to smaller roots, they don’t grab onto the soil as much and are, generally, already pretty loose, so there’s not much reason to handle them further.
Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
How to Recognize Negative Root Structures
Up to this point, we’ve mentioned that potted plants can develop negative root structures. Now, we want to explain some of these patterns and why they need to be corrected.
Plants were made for the wild and the soil, so it’s no surprise problems can develop when a plant stays in a pot for an extended period.
Here are some things that can indicate a plant is pot-bound and in need of loosening:
Let’s discuss these issues in more detail.
Plant Roots that Circle the Inside of a Pot
To check for this first issue, remove the plant from the pot. After the root bundle is removed, look at the location of the roots.
If it looks like the roots have been wrapped like twine round and round the ball of dirt, it’s a good chance that it is a circling root.
Circling roots will eventually create a sort of noose around the plant and cut off its nutrients. For this reason, it is very important to correct root circling before planting.
Roots Growing Back Toward Potted Plants
When inspecting the root ball of a plant, look for any roots that have grown down to the bottom of the container and are now starting to grow back up to the plant’s center. They can be a problem.
Plants will eventually outgrow their pot. If an overgrown plant isn’t moved to a bigger pot, the overgrown roots will look for space to expand. Usually, this space is found back up toward the center of the plant.
These roots are long and hooked, and they have difficulty expanding outward when the plant is placed in the ground.
Large Wooden Roots in Potted Plants
When a plant’s roots become large and woody, it can indicate that the plant has outgrown its pot.
These large stubby roots can have a hard time adapting to the natural environment and may make the plants’ transition to the ground difficult.
Smaller, more supple roots have an easier time adapting to their new environment. Just because a plant is more mature does not mean it cannot be planted, see our article on planting old bulbs.
How Should Gardeners Best Loosen Roots Before Planting?
Alright, we’ve gone over the where and the why. Now it’s time to go over the how.
When preparing to loosen plants, keep in mind – the point is to restore the plant to the most natural root system so that they thrive in a natural environment.
Nature grows plants without our help all the time, and our goal is to allow plants to thrive in the most natural state possible.
Here are several techniques to keep in mind when loosening roots:
Let’s go over these in more detail.
How to Fix Circling Plant Roots
The first thing to do is deal with the circled roots inside the pot.
To do this, a sharp knife is needed. Using a dull knife increases the risk of pulling the roots out instead of untangling them.
Take the knife and cut an “X” into the bottom of the root ball. Then, using the X as a guide, cut four lines up the root bundles’ sides.
These cuts will not harm the plants, and they will inhibit the roots from creating more circles and encourage them to spread out in the new soil.
Soak the Roots in Water Before Teasing Them
For those who are worried about drying out the roots or having tough dirt sticking to the roots, it’s beneficial to soak the roots in water before loosening them.
The water will do several things. . .
First, it will dissolve the dirt and expose the roots; this will provide a better view of the roots, allowing a good look at anything that might be problematic.
Second, it will soften up the roots, making it easier to loosen them and untangle any knots if needed.
Untangle and Massage Out the Root Ball
The word massage is helpful, as it reminds us not to be too rough with the roots and to clear the root of any knots.
When looking at an established plant in its natural environment, the roots are spread out and untangled. We want to give potted plants the best chance of achieving this natural state.
After soaking the root bundle, it should be pretty easy to tease the roots out and into a relaxed spread.
Another reason to massage out roots: if the pot-shaped roots are merely dropped into a hole in the ground, a barrier forms between the potting soil and the natural soil.
By massaging and loosening the root bundle, the roots will likely mingle with the soil around them.
If you’re interested in more ways to help potted plants, see our article about getting plants good drainage in pots and avoiding root rot.
It is recommended to loosen roots before planting. Potted plants can develop issues after being in captivity for too long. These problems include circling, inverted and overgrown roots.
These problems can be corrected by loosening and pruning the roots. Teasing out the roots does not cause harm to the plant. Rather, it helps to restore the plant to a more natural state. And nature wins the green thumb award every time.
Check out Our Favorite Products page to find everything you might need to help make your garden a success!
Anderson TM, Starmer WT, Thorne M (2007) Bimodal root diameter distributions in Serengeti grasses exhibit plasticity in response to defoliation and soil texture: implications for nitrogen uptake. Funct Ecol 21:50–60
Berntson GM (1994) Modelling root architecture: are there tradeoffs between efficiency and potential of resource acquisition? New Phytol 127:483–493. doi:10.1111/j.1469-8137.1994.tb03966.x
Berntson GM (1997) Topological scaling and plant root system architecture: developmental and functional hierarchies. New Phytol 135:621–634. doi:10.1046/j.1469-8137.1997.00687.x
Chirino E, Vilagrosa A, Hernandez EI, Matos A, Vallejo VR (2008) Effects of a deep container on morpho-functional characteristics and root colonization in Quercus suber L. seedlings for reforestation in Mediterranean climate. For Ecol Manage 256:779–785. doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2008.05.035
Collet C, Lof M, Pages L (2006) Root system development of oak seedlings analyzed using an architectural model. Effects of competition with grass. Plant Soil 279:367–383. doi:10.1007/s11104-005-2419-9
Fitter AH (1985) Functional significance of root morphology and root system architecture. In: Fitter AH (ed) Ecological Interactions in Soil: Plants, microbes and animals British ecological society, Special Publication No. 4. Blackwell Scientific, Oxford, pp 87–106
Fitter AH (1987) An architectural approach to the comparative ecology of plant root systems. New Phytol 106:61–77
Fitter AH, Stickland TR (1991) Architectural analysis of plant root systems 2. Influence of nutrient supply on architecture in contrasting plant species. New Phytol 118:383–389. doi:10.1111/j.1469-8137.1991.tb00019.x
Fitter AH, Nichols R, Harvey ML (1988) Root system architecture in relation to life history and nutrient supply. Funct Ecol 2:345–351. doi:10.2307/2389407
Fitter AH, Stickland TR, Harvey ML, Wilson GW (1991) Architectural analysis of plant root systems 1. Architectural correlates of exploitation efficiency. New Phytol 118:375–382. doi:10.1111/j.1469-8137.1991.tb00018.x
Glimskar A (2000) Estimates of root system topology of five plant species grown at steady-state nutrition. Plant Soil 227:249–256. doi:10.1023/A:1026531200864
Green JJ, Vallejo R, Serrasolses I, Martins-Loucao MA, Hatzistathis A, Barea JM, Cortina J, Watson CA et al (1999) Restoration of degraded ecosystems in Meditarranean regions (REDMED). Grasslands and Woody Plants in Europe. HERPAS, Thessaloniki, pp 281–286
Hatzistathis A, Zagas T, Ganatsas P, Tsitsoni T (1999) Experimental work on restoration techniques after wildfires in forest ecosystems in Chalkidiki, North Greece. In: Proceedings of the International Symposium “Forest fires: Needs and innovations”, Athens, Greece, Nov. 18–19, 1999, pp 310–315
Hodge A (2004) The plastic plant: root responses to heterogeneous supplies of nutrients. New Phytol 162:9–24. doi:10.1111/j.1469-8137.2004.01015.x
Koutrakis E, Lazaridou E (1999) Description of the Coastal zone of “Strymonikos” and “Ierissos” Gulfs. Fisheries Research Institute and Greek Biotope/Wetland Centre, Thermi, Greece
Lynch J (1995) Root architecture and plant productivity. Plant Physiol 109:7–13
Martinez-Sanchez JJ, Ferrandis P, Trabaud L, Galindo R, Franco JA, Herranz JM (2003) Comparative root system structure of post-fire Pinus halepensis Mill. and Cistus monspeliensis L. saplings. Plant Ecol 168:309–320. doi:10.1023/A:1024406029497
McPhee K (2005) Variation for seedling root architecture in the core collection of Pea germplasm. Crop Sci 45:1758–1763. doi:10.2135/cropsci2004.0544
Nicotra AB, Babicka N, Westoby M (2002) Seedling root anatomy and morphology: an examination of ecological differentiation with rainfall using phylogenetically independent contrasts. Oecologia 130:136–145
Paz H (2003) Root/Shoot allocation and root architecture in seedlings: variation among forest sites, microhabitats and ecological groups. Biotropica 35:318–332
Pausas JG, Blade C, Valdecantos A, Seva JP, Fuentes D, Alloza JA, Villagrosa A, Bautista S, Cortina J, Vallejo R (2004) Pines and oaks in the restoration of Mediterranean landscapes of Spain: new perspectives for an old practice-a review. Plant Ecol 171:209–220. doi:10.1023/B:VEGE.0000029381.63336.20
Peman J, Voltas J, Gil-Pelegrin E (2006) Morphological and functional variability in the root systems of Quercus ilex L. subject to confinement: consequences for afforestation. Ann For Sci 63:425–430. doi:10.1051/forest:2006022
Puerta-Piñero C, Gómez JM, Zamora R (2006) Species-specific effects on topsoil development affect Quercus ilex seedling performance. Acta Oecol 29:65–71. doi:10.1016/j.actao.2005.07.007
Retana J, Espelta JM, Gracia M, Riba M (1999) Seedling recruitment. In: Roda F, Retana J, Gracia CA, Bellot J (eds) Ecology of Mediterranean evergreen oak forests. Springer Verlag, Berlin, pp 89–101
Rey Benayas JM, Camacho-Cruz A (2004) Performance of Quercus ilex saplings planted in abandoned Mediterranean cropland after long-term interruption of their management. For Ecol Manage 194:223–233. doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2004.02.035
Roumet C, Urcelay C, Diaz S (2006) Suites of root traits differ between annual and perennial species growing in the field. New Phytol 170:357–368. doi:10.1111/j.1469-8137.2006.01667.x
Schultz RC, Thompson JR (1997) Effect of density control and undercutting on root morphology of 1 + 0 bareroot hardwood seedlings: five-year field performance of root-graded stock in the central USA. New For 13:301–314. doi:10.1023/A:1006594510503
Sorgona A, Abenavoli MR, Cacco G (2005) A comparative study between two citrus rootstocks: effect of nitrate on the root morpho-topology and net nitrate uptake. Plant Soil 270:257–267. doi:10.1007/s11104-004-1607-3
Spanos I, Ganatsas P, Raftoyannis Y (2008) The root system architecture of young Greek fir (Abies cephalonica Loundon) trees. Plant Biosyst 142:1–6. doi:10.1080/11263500802151082
Stewart JD, Lieffers VJ (1993) Preconditioning effects of nitrogen relative addition rate and drought stress on container-grown lodgepole pine seedlings. Can J For Res 23:1663–1671. doi:10.1139/x93-207
Tamasi E, Stokes A, Lasserre B, Danjon F, Berthier S, Fourcaud T, Chiatante D (2005) Influence of wind loading on root system development and architecture in oak (Quercus robur L.) seedlings. Trees Struct Func 19:374–384
Trubat R, Cortina J, Vilagrosa A (2006) Plant morphology and root hydraulics are altered by nutrient deficiency in Pistacia lentiscus (L.). Trees (Berl) 20:334–339. doi:10.1007/s00468-005-0045-z
Tsakaldimi M, Zagas T, Tsitsoni T, Ganatsas P (2005) Root morphology, stem growth and field performance of seedlings of two Mediterranean evergreen oak species raised in different container types. Plant Soil 278:85–93. doi:10.1007/s11104-005-2580-1
Tsitsoni T (1997) Conditions determining natural regeneration after wildfires in the Pinus halepensis (Miller, 1768) forests of Kassandra Peninsula (North Greece). For Ecol Manage 92:199–208. doi:10.1016/S0378-1127(96) 03909-6
Tsitsoni T, Karagiannakidou V (2000) Site quality and stand stucture in Pinus halepensis forests of North Greece. Forestry 73:51–64. doi:10.1093/forestry/73.1.51
Valdecantos A, Cortina J, Vallejo R (2006) Nutrient status and field performance of tree seedlings planted in Mediterranean degraded areas. Ann For Sci 63:249–256. doi:10.1051/forest:2006003
Vallejo VR, Serrasolses I, Cortina J, Seva JP, Valdecantos A, Vilagrosa A (2000) Restoration strategies and actions in Mediterranean degraded lands. In: Enne G, Zanolla C, Peter D (eds) Desertification in Europe: mitigation strategies and land-use planning. Office for official publications of the European Communities, Luxenbourg, pp 221–233
Vilagrosa A, Cortina J, Gil-Pelegrín E, Bellot J (2003) Suitability of Drought-Preconditioning Techniques in Mediterranean Climate. Restor Ecol 11:208–216. doi:10.1046/j.1526-100X.2003.00172.x
Villar-Salvador P, Planelles R, Enriquez E, Penuelas-Rubira J (2004a) Nursery cultivation regimes, plant functional attributes and field performance relationships in the Mediterranean oak Quercus ilex L. For Ecol Manage 196:257–266. doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2004.02.061
Villar-Salvador P, Planelles R, Oliet J, Penuelas-Rubira J, Jacobs DF, Gonzalez M (2004b) Drought tolerance and transplanting performance of holm oak (Quercus ilex) seedlings after drought hardening in the nursery. Tree Physiol 24:1147–1155
Werner C, Smart JS (1973) Some new methods of topologic classification of channel networks. Geogr Anal 5:271–295
Wilson ER, Vitols KC, Park A (2007) Root characteristics and growth potential of container and bare-root seedlings of red oak (Quercus rubra L.) in Ontario, Canada. New For 34:163–176. doi:10.1007/s11056-007-9046-7
Wright IJ, Westoby M (1999) Differences in seedling growth behaviour among species: trait correlations across species, and trait shifts along nutrient compared to rainfall gradients. J Ecol 87:85–97. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2745.1999.00330.x
Zagas TD, Ganatsas PP, Tsitsoni TK, Tsakaldimi M (2004) Thinning effect on stand structure of holm oak stand in northern Greece. In: Arianoutsou M, Papanastasis V (eds) Proceedings of 10th MEDECOS Conference. Rhodos, Greece, Millpress Rotterdam. April 25–May 1, 2004
Planting Tall Tree Seedlings To Create An Instant Forest
Planting tall tree seedlings not only creates an instant forest where there was none before but increases transplant survivability by 90% due to the fact that their root systems are fully developed. On average, the root of a plug seedling is about half the height of the tree comprising only a few strands of root. By comparison, tall tree seedlings root stems are a couple of feet long made up of hundreds of root strands. This means that our tall tree seedlings will take to the surround soil before winter sets in.
Creating instant forests transplanting tall tree seedlings is revolutionizing the wprold’s reforestation industry, giving investors faster retunes on their timber investments, increasing tax incentives for logging companies to replant harvested forests, reviving damaged ecosystems the first year after transplant, sequestering meaningful amounts of carbon at first leaf and stabilizing undulating terrain to prevent erosion.
Hire Us As A Reforestation Consultant
Hire us to consult on your reforestation project. Wherever you are in the world, we can help you plan and design your reforestation project and choose the appropriate tree species to achieve your goals.
Hire Us To Build A Tall Tree Nursery
You can also hire us to design and plan a tall tree nursery, which can be shipped anywhere in world and assembled on site. Training is included.
Hire Us To Plant The Trees
Hire us by contract to plant the trees. We will travel to you site, use our proprietary forest drones to lay out the site guided by tree species selected for end use and topography.
Global Reforestation – A Growing Opportunity
As governments collaborate on programs to plant millions of trees worldwide, the tree seedling industry must meet the increasing demand. This creates an investment opportunity unseen since the «New Deal» during the Great Depression. Billions of dollars will soon be available to invest in the burgeoning «Tree Age» of the 21st century.
In North America alone, nearly 15,000,000 acres of forests were harvested, over 32,000,000 acres of trees were lost to forest fires, and 56,000,000 acres were damaged or killed by insects last year. In California, unprecedented wildfires led to the closure of Yosemite National Park in 2019. Forest fires are becoming increasingly common in other parts of the world, such as Greece, Spain, and the United Kingdom, necessitating the creation of national firefighting forces.
Australia experienced massive bushfires that ravaged more than 15 million hectares—an area larger than the UK—in just one year. This figure is ten times the number of trees lost to fires in the Amazon during the same period. In addition, land-clearing crises have emerged in Australia and Brazil, with millions of hectares of untouched forests being bulldozed for agricultural purposes.
As the need for reforestation and afforestation initiatives grows, well-developed and tall tree seedlings present a promising solution to improve transplantation success rates, promote ecological recovery, and combat climate change on a global scale.
Forests, Climate Change, And Investment In Tree Assets
RReforestation plays a critical role in mitigating climate change, preserving ecosystems, and providing sustainable investment opportunities. As the world faces increasing deforestation due to natural disasters, land clearing for agriculture, and urban expansion, investing in reforestation and tree assets becomes more vital than ever.
Forests And Climate Change
Forests both contribute and combat climate change. During the first 40 years of a young tree’s life, it will sequester 70% of the entire amount of carbon it will capture in its lifetime. However, as it ages, carbon sequestration slows to just 5% the last decades of its life and when it dies and falls to the forest floor it decomposes releasing carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere, contributing to global warming. It’s clear that planting new forests will be most beneficial in our fight against climate change.
More Benefits Investing In Tree Assets
Besides the obvious benefits towards the fight against climate change, investing in tree assets make good sense economically, particularly when comes to tree plantation investments and timberland reforestation projects. Tree assets grow in value over time when other sectors of the economy like real estate and the stock market fluctuate.
A Global Opportunity
As governments, businesses, and individuals increasingly recognize the urgency of addressing climate change, the demand for reforestation projects and tree assets is growing. Investment in these initiatives offers a unique opportunity to participate in the green economy and combat the environmental challenges facing our planet.
Contact Us To Invest In Tree Assets
Planting tall seedlings allows for increased spacing between trees, requiring fewer trees per acre to achieve the same coverage as commercially planted plug seedling forests. This approach saves time and money while producing similar results.
Tree Seedlings, Reforestation And Growing Trees For Profit
Tree seedlings was coined over 100 years ago to describe the growing of tree seedlings on a commercial scale. As the decade’s past, several innovations were made to improve productivity per unit of space in the nursery. Back in the day, seedlings were grown outdoors in cultivated rows in real soil. Originally, they were planted and harvested by hand but by the 1950’s the propagation of seedlings was mechanized.
In the late 60’s, seedling propagation moved indoors where the growing environment could be controlled. By the 1970’s, advancements in growing trays made it possible to grow large numbers of tree seedlings at sufficient density to be extremely profitable.
Growing Tree Seedlings For Profit
Today there are three types of tree seedlings grown for both the wholesale and retail market.
Tree seedlings of any type or size can be used in a variety of ways including reforestation, afforestation, landscaping, windbreaks, erosion control, rewilding, tree plantations, climate mitigation, and ecosystem restoration.
Government Programs And Commercial Clients
Growing tree seedlings became a big industry with the creation of government tree planting programs and tax incentives to logging companies to replant what they harvested, particuarily on BLM or crown land.
By the 1980’s, private companies began growing multi-year hardwoods and softwoods to fill a niche not exploited by the tree plug growing contracts of the day. These older, taller seedlings were sold to the landscape market for home use.
How You Can Contribute to Reforestation
You can play a role in promoting reforestation and supporting the health of our planet’s ecosystems by planting trees on your property, donating to organizations like ours working on reforestation initiatives around the world, or advocate for change.
Support reforestation projects: Donate to organizations working on reforestation initiatives or consider supporting businesses that contribute to reforestation through their products or practices.
Enhancing Reforestation through Tree Seedling Root Development
Approximately 50% of reforestation tree seedlings perish during the first year after transplant, primarily due to inadequate root systems that struggle to adapt to natural soil conditions and withstand harsh winters. Improving tree transplant survivability through better root development can provide numerous benefits, such as increased timber production for forest companies, enhanced land reclamation for ecosystem development, and greater carbon sequestration from the atmosphere.
Reforestation, Restoring The World’s Forests With Tall Tree Seedlings
Restoring the world’s forests through the act of planting trees is known as reforestation. Reforestation can take many forms including the planting of tree plugs by tree planters on land cleared of trees by commercial logging or fire. Unfortunately, more than half of these tree plants die the first winter because of underdeveloped root systems.
We employ various reforestation strategies to effectively reforest cleared or fallow lands. Some of these include:
Afforestation Is Not Reforestation
Although both afforestation and reforestation involve the planting of trees, afforestation establishes forests on non-forested lands like grasslands, deserts, or urban areas that have not grown trees the last 100 years or more.
Afforestation is chosen when certain criteria need to be met such as created a managed commercial timber plantation, rewilding or introduction or re-introduction of an ecosystem and like reforestation, afforestation captures carbon from the atmosphere to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change.
Addressing the Root of the Issue
The reforestation tree seedling industry predominantly utilizes containerized seedlings, which include plug seedlings and container seedlings. These seedlings account for over 90% of all seedlings grown for reforestation purposes, with container seedlings primarily used by small woodlot owners and municipalities.
Plug seedlings are small trees grown in compact containers, usually made of plastic or peat, to foster strong root system development before transplantation. These containers offer a controlled environment with adequate soil and moisture while preventing root entanglement or disturbance. Plug seedlings are often employed in reforestation and afforestation projects for rapid forest or woodland establishment and in landscaping and horticulture for precise transplantation into specific arrangements, such as rows or clusters. The size and shape of tree plugs vary according to the species and growing conditions, ranging from a few inches to several inches in height and diameter and taking cylindrical or conical forms.
Container seedlings are larger than plug seedlings, averaging 3 to 4 feet in height and featuring well-defined root balls. Ranging between 3 and 6 years old, container seedlings exhibit a 25% higher survivability rate compared to plug seedlings. However, they are more expensive to cultivate, transport, and plant.
Developing cost-effective methods to enhance seedling survivability after transplantation is crucial for the reforestation industry. Research into root development and optimization, as well as advancements in container materials and design, may provide innovative solutions to improve reforestation efforts and contribute to a more sustainable future.
Increasing Reforestation Transplant Survivability Rate by Over 90% with Well-Developed, Tall Tree Seedlings
Traditionally, larger roots have been associated with higher transplant survival rates, but the costs of producing seedlings with well-developed roots have been prohibitive. An innovation by Tree Plantation involves growing multiple seedlings in deep root trays to accelerate root development during a 3-year nursery growth cycle. This method results in root development at transplant similar to that of container seedlings of the same age.
Height matters for survival: This system also promotes rapid terminal branch growth, producing seedlings that are three times taller than standard plug seedlings. Taller reforestation seedlings develop canopies faster, which deters grazing wildlife and accelerates carbon sequestration and ecosystem development.
These tall tree seedlings have root stems instead of root balls, making them slender and easily transportable. Thousands can be shipped on a single truck, and hundreds can fit into a tree planter’s pack.
Tree Seedlings, Plugs vs Saplings, Planting Trees Video
There are several methods to propagating tree seedlings, depending on the species and include industrial grow trays, bag, and pot containers, cultivated open field, and cuttings.
The choice of propagation method will depend on a variety of factors, including the species being propagated, the site conditions, and the intended use of the seedlings. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, and growers should choose the method that best suits their needs and resources.
Return On Investment, ROI
Timber investors primarily consider return on investment above all else. Although vitally important, ROI
exceeds even the importance of growing trees to fight climate change. Time to harvest governs
return on investment. A method that would harvest a tree sooner would certainly gain the
attention of any timber investor. Planting 10 foot tall, virtually branch free tree seedlings would shave
at least 10 years from time to harvest, so investors can reap returns in 30 years instead of 40 for most
hardwoods and 20 rather than 30 for softwoods.
Earn More Profit Growing Tree Saplings
Margins for young plug and bar root seedlings are small and the risks are high, from cancelled grow contracts to disease and everything in between, which forces plug and root seedling growers to grow large numbers of seedlings, by the hundreds of thousands to make a decent profit.
Conversely, growing tall tree seedlings can be extremely profitable due to the size of root shape of the tree. The path to profitability starts with plant a 1 or 2 foot plug or root tree seedling in one our proprietary grow pots, then manipulating the tree year after year to turn it into a clear-branched, straight 10 to 15 foot tall tree sapling. Rather than making a few scents on a plug or root seedling, growers can make hundreds on a tall sapling.
Growing Tall Tree Seedlings
Tall, straight and clear grained tree seedlings (saplings) are essential for maximizing returns on investment (ROI),
increasing survivability after transplant, minimizing damage from foraging animals, rebuilding ecosystems
damaged by industrial land clearing and fire, preventing land erosion, growing the highest value commercial
sawlog and sequestering large amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere.
Increasing Survivability After Transplant
Half of all reforestation tree transplants die after first year. This is because traditional plug
seedlings grown for the forestry industry are small (often less than a foot tall) and have underdeveloped
root systems. Underdeveloped roots struggle to adapt to foreign soil after transplant and freeze after the
first winter. Tall tree saplings adapt quickly to their new soil surroundings because of
their developed root systems increasing the survivability rate close to 100% a year after transplant.
Minimizing Damage From Foraging Animals
Minimizing damage caused by foraging animals is an important consideration in new plantations near
forests populated with young shoot loving deer, for example. Deer love to nibble and graze on both winter
dormant and new spring branches of young trees. A herd can do considerable damage to a second, third and
fourth year plantation. By the fifth year, the terminal branches of young trees are out of reach for most
deer. Planting a tree plantation with 10 foot tall tree saplings ensures that tips and
branches are high above the ground; well out of reach the very first year.
Quickly Rebuild Ecosystems
The planting of tall tree saplings quickly rebuilds ecosystems damaged by industrial land clearing and
fire. It can take several years if not decades for a damaged ecosystem to recover from the devastation
caused by the machined harvesting and clearing of land, even longer in forests damaged by fire. Ecosystems
begin to recover immediately soon after transplanting tall tree seedlings. This is because the tall
seedlings leaf out quickly, growing an impressive forest canopy that partially shades the forest floor.
The filtered light that penetrats the canopy encourages the development of delicate organisms, which
rapidly populate the understory of the new forest.
Prevent Land Erosion
Land erosion is a major problem with reforestation, particularly after fire. With the forest cover gone,
the land is exposed to the elements; sun, wind and rain, which can do even more damage than was witnessed
by the original land clear. Water runoff causes the worst damage carrying the burnt carcasses of trees,
stump remnants and soil to be deposited elsewhere. Steep slopes and hillsides are the most vulnerable.
Horizontal trenching combined with the strategic planting of tall tree saplings can mitigate a lot of
this damage. Trenches collect, contain and retain runoff for use by the trees during dry spells and they
quickly stabilize the soil. The rapid development of a forest cover further protects the
landscape from the elements.
Grow High Value Commercial Sawlogs
Trees growing wild in the forest are well branched and have for the most part crooked or bent trunks.
Only a few may have any noticeable commercial value; trees that are straight and branch free along a
considerable length of their trunk. Commercial tree plantations produce a straighter wood product with
fewer branches however the wait for returns can be prohibitive for most investors, particularly growing
hardwoods, which can take 40 years or more to harvest. Therefore, almost all commercial tree plantations
grow faster growing but less valuable softwoods. Planting tall tree saplings change that so commercial
timber investors can grow more valuable hardwoods, harvesting in 30 years instead of 40.
Sequester Large Amounts Of CO2 From The Atmosphere
Depending on age, climate, type of forest and soil, an acre of trees captures a ton of CO2 each
year. The trees must have a forest canopy typically grown by a 12 year old forest to achieve
this. A forest created by the planting of 10 foot tall tree saplings can achieve this in just 3 years after transplant,
shaving 9 years off the wait time for meaningful carbon sequestration. This fact is vitally important when
you consider the climate peril that exists now on the planet.
Tree Plantation Nurseries Grow Tall Tree Seedlings
Pyramidal Tree Pots
Our Pyramid Tree Pots are designed to grow trees in the same pot for up to 20 years. Their
pyramid shape conforms to the natural root habit of a tree, which is bottom half hourglass shaped. The
shape encourages superb root development and rapid terminal branch growth, which will determine the height
of the tree. The root shape eliminates the need for after transplant tree supports and guide wires. Pots are
easily assembled and disassembled for a quick plant and harvest. The formed root and long stem of the tree
facilitates ease of transport by container, truck, or trailer. Tall trees are transplanted using a PTO
tractor mounted post hole digger. Pyramidal Tree Pots are used once and recycled after the tree is harvested.
Our tree pallet propagation system grows tree seedlings 10 feet more in height over a span of between 5 or
6 years. The system features parallel rows of vertical 6-inch-wide x 36-inch-deep tree pots 20 feet in
length. Each length grows 40 trees, and several lengths are laid out. One adjacent to the other on top of a
rubberized, weatherproof ground cover. An elevated drip irrigation system waters the trees. Periodic pruning
is achieved by accessing elevated walkways between the rows of tree seedlings. The tree pallet system is
reusable and recyclable.
Tall Tree Seedling Opportunities
We would like to build a network of tall tree growers across the country. A network of growers will
eliminate the long-haul shipment of trees that can be grown locally. It also creates a home-based
business opportunity that can earn a significant income. The only requirement is that you have a
small plot of land, a little money, some time, water and are willing to grow a few of the trees for us – the
rest you can sell for whatever the market will bear – commercial tree species are in high demand. We supply
everything else, installation, pyramid pots, soil, seedling starts, irrigation lines and attachments.
Contact Us For
Many countries and organizations around the world recognize the importance of reforestation and have launched large-scale initiatives to restore forests and combat climate change. Some notable examples include:
Conservation Through Reforestation
Beyond the planting of trees, reforesting lands conserves essential elements of the environment including indigenous soil, water, flora, and fauna.
Other benefits of both reforestation and afforestation include job creation, and an opportunity to marry the growing of trees with agriculture – Agroforestry.